The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) dropped by 0.2% today to 7,282 points.
Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:
Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)
The Altium share price soared today, rising around 40% after receiving a takeover bid from Autodesk.
Altium confirmed the offer was non-binding, indicative and unsolicited from the US software business which offers products and services for a wide variety of industries.
The offer was $38.50 per share.
Altium’s board said that it appreciated the interest expressed by Autodesk, which had evolved from a dialogue about a strategic partnership.
However, the board considered the proposal significantly undervalued Altium’s prospects and therefore rejected the proposal at the current price.
Altium said that it has a unique position in the electronics ecosystem and in the past unsolicited acquisition interest has developed from partnership dialogues with others in the ecosystem. The board will engage with interested parties in the context of an appropriate valuation for Altium and it will continue to review all potential strategic alternatives for the company.
The ASX 200 share’s board has confidence in pursuing the company’s transformation strategy for the electronics industry and to achieve its 2025 financial goals. Altium said that after successfully pivoting to the cloud, it’s well positioned to pursue market dominance and industry transformation. The cloud platform is turning Altium’s business model from maintenance-based subscription to a capability-based software as a service (SaaS) subscription.
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)
The NAB share price fell around 3% today after giving investors an update relating to AUSTRAC.
AUSTRAC said that it has identified “serious concerns” with NAB’s compliance with the anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) laws.
Those concerns have been referred to AUSTRAC’s enforcement team, which has initiated a formal enforcement investigation into the ASX 200 bank share.
In the letter to NAB, AUSTRAC stated it has not made any decision about whether or not enforcement action would be taken. AUSTRAC said, at this stage, it is not considering civil penalty proceedings and that this decision is “reflective of the work undertaken” by NAB to date.
AUSTRAC has a number of enforcement options available to it, including civil penalty orders, enforceable undertakings, infringement notices and remedial directions.
NAB CEO Ross McEvan said:
NAB takes its financial crime obligations seriously. We are very aware that need to further improve our performance in relation to these maters. We have been working to improve and clearly have more to do.
NAB has an important role in monitoring and reporting suspicious activity and keeping Australia’s financial system, our bank and our customers safe.
It is a key priority for everyone at NAB to uplift our financial crime capabilities, minimise risk to customers and the bank, and improve operational performance. That’s why we are so focused on getting the basics right every time to protect our customers and our bank.
NAB said since June 2017, it has invested around $800 million as part of its program to uplift financial crime and fraud controls.
SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SKC)
The SkyCity share price dropped around 6.5% today after it also announced AUSTRAC action.
AUSTRAC said that it has also identified potential serious non-compliance by SkyCity Adelaide regarding anti-money laundering laws and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF). It was also announced that Crown Resort Ltd’s (ASX: CWN) Crown Perth and Star Entertainment Group Ltd’s (ASX: SGR) Star Sydney face similar AUSTRAC concerns.
The potential serious non-compliance by SkyCity Adelaide includes concerns relating to ongoing customer due diligence adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program and compliance with part A of that program.
These concerns have been identified in the course of a compliance assessment, which AUSTRAC commenced in September 2019, focusing on SkyCity Adelaide’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed persons.
AUSTRAC has made it clear it has not made a decision regarding the appropriate regulatory response that may apply, including whether or not enforcement action will be taken.